Symptoms

There is a vaccine against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but there is no vaccine against hepatitis C. Screening for HBV and HCV is recommended for certain at-risk individuals.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis in general?

Hepatitis can be asymptomatic.

If there are symptoms, they are similar to flu:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain

Other, more specific symptoms can also appear such as a yellowing of the skin, the eyes and dark urine (icterus or “jaundice”).

As the symptoms of viral hepatitis are similar to those of other diseases, it is important to carry out a blood screening test to establish a diagnosis.

DID YOU KNOW? HCV is also known as the “silent killer”. In fact, hepatitis C is often asymptomatic. If any symptoms appear, these often involve extreme fatigue and more rarely jaundice. Complications can take 20 to 30 years to develop.

In conjunction with the Laboratoire Clinique de Saint-Luc (Saint Luc Clinical Laboratory) — UCL Brussels, Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre for the hepatitis B, C, D, and E viruses, which analyses the viral strains of hepatitis. Sciensano also carries out epidemiological surveillance of the different types of viral hepatitis in Belgium and monitors the quality of the vaccines.

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